x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Doctor 'unaware' of death charges against him

A doctor accused of going on the run after causing the death of a child through medical negligence, says he was unaware he was wanted by the law.

ABU DHABI // A doctor accused of fleeing the country after causing the death of a child through medical negligence said yesterday he was unaware there were charges against him.

The 78-year-old South African allegedly went on the run two years ago after failing to adequately treat a nine-year-old Yemeni girl in need of a blood transfusion.

He was tried in absentia and sentenced to three years and six months in jail and ordered to pay Dh200,000 in blood money.

He was arrested at the airport recently, apparently trying to re-enter the country two years after the girl's death.

But he told the Criminal Court yesterday that he was unaware there were charges against him. He said he had left the country when his previous contract ended and was returning to the capital on a three-month visit visa as an exchange specialist for Sheikh Khalifa Medical City.

"No one told me I was accused of anything, I even returned to the country willingly," he said.

The doctor's original trial heard that the girl was in need of an urgent blood transfusion, but that she was not treated because the hospital did not have supplies of her blood type.

Prosecutors claimed that the doctor forged a document claiming the transfusion had taken place when it had not. He was sentenced to six months for negligence and three years for forgery.

Yesterday, he denied both charges. The case was adjourned until September 19.

hdajani@thenational.ae